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NAPLES, FLORIDA

Secrets of Southwest Florida: From the Gulf to the Glades

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Natural History

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Road Scholar
Program #20896RJ
6 Days | 5 Nights
ACTIVITY LEVEL: Moderate
EasyFor people looking to exercise their minds more than their bodies. There’s minimal walking and not too many stairs.
ModerateThese programs get you on your feet and include activities such as walking up to a mile in a day through a city and standing in a museum for a few hours.
ActiveFor people who enjoy walking as much as two miles a day, perhaps to explore historic neighborhoods or a nature trail.
Moderately ChallengingFor hardy explorers who enjoy a good physical challenge, spending most of their days on the go.
ChallengingGet ready to keep up with our highest-energy group. These demanding — and rewarding — programs are for seasoned outdoor enthusiasts.

Itinerary for Mar 8 — Mar 13, 2015

Expand all
Type: Hotel

Description: This newly renovated Naples hotel is conveniently located steps from the famous 5th Avenue downtown Naples in the heart of the entertainment and shopping district, world class restaurants and night life. This hotel is ideally located, just one mile from Naples Pier, pristine white sand beaches, Naples Zoo at Caribbean Gardens as well as Naples Philharmonic and just a block from the historic Tin City Marketplace.

Contact info:
1785 Fifth Avenue South
Naples
Florida, FL 34102 USA
phone: 239-261-3500
web: www.ihg.com/holidayinnexpress/hotels/us/en/naples/apfin/hoteldetail/hotel-room-rates

Room amenities: Room Amenities: -32” HD LCD -Free Wireless Internet -Ipod / Iphone Docking Station -Refrigerator -Microwave -Hairdryer -Coffee Maker -Mini RefrigeratorTea Maker -Individually Controlled Air Conditioning -Iron / Ironing Board

Facility amenities: - 24 hour state-of-the art fitness center features extensive range of PRECOR equipment - Outdoor Pool - Business Center - Complimentary Parking

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Additional nights before: TBD


Check in time: 3:00 PM


Day One: Sunday, March 08 - Arrival and Check-in, Program Registration, Welco...
Arrival and Check-in, Program Registration, Welcome Dinner, Orientation

Afternoon: Hotel Check-in: Available from 3:00pm.

Program Registration: After you have your room assignment, come over to the Road Scholar desk in the lobby to pick up your arrival packet containing your name tag, the up-to-date schedule, and to confirm the time of the orientation session.

Please be aware that program activities and scheduled times could change due to local circumstances. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.

Dinner: Enjoy a 3-course meal including salad, entrée at a nearby restaurant.

Evening: Orientation: Gathering in our hotel meeting room, the Group Leader will greet you with a warm welcome, introduce everyone, and provide key staff contact names and phone numbers. We will review the up-to-date daily schedule and any changes, discuss responsibilities, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer any questions you may have.

Take the rest of the evening to settle in, relax, and prepare for the full day ahead.

Lodging: Holiday Inn Express - Naples

Meals Included: Dinner

Type: Hotel

Description: This newly renovated Naples hotel is conveniently located steps from the famous 5th Avenue downtown Naples in the heart of the entertainment and shopping district, world class restaurants and night life. This hotel is ideally located, just one mile from Naples Pier, pristine white sand beaches, Naples Zoo at Caribbean Gardens as well as Naples Philharmonic and just a block from the historic Tin City Marketplace.

Contact info:
1785 Fifth Avenue South
Naples
Florida, FL 34102 USA
phone: 239-261-3500
web: www.ihg.com/holidayinnexpress/hotels/us/en/naples/apfin/hoteldetail/hotel-room-rates

Room amenities: Room Amenities: -32” HD LCD -Free Wireless Internet -Ipod / Iphone Docking Station -Refrigerator -Microwave -Hairdryer -Coffee Maker -Mini RefrigeratorTea Maker -Individually Controlled Air Conditioning -Iron / Ironing Board

Facility amenities: - 24 hour state-of-the art fitness center features extensive range of PRECOR equipment - Outdoor Pool - Business Center - Complimentary Parking

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Additional nights before: TBD


Check in time: 3:00 PM


Day Two: Monday, March 09 - Big Cypress National Park, Fakahatchee Strand Pre...
Big Cypress National Park, Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park, 10,000 Islands Boat Excursion

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: Big Cypress Swamp National Preserve. The Big Cypress is an amazing place and very different from the Everglades in the East (which you will experience later this week), notable for its 500-year-old cypresses, whose roots are specially adapted to grow underwater for months at a time. During a visit to the Welcome Center, you will hear from a Ranger and have time to walk through some of the 18 exhibits describing the history, hydrology, and habitats.

Lunch: For lunch in Everglades City, choose from a select menu of sandwiches and salads.

Afternoon: Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park. Led by an expert, experience this subtropical, strand swamp forest known as “the Amazon of North America.” As we walk along the Big Cypress Bend Boardwalk, look for the active eagles nest .

Later in the afternoon, we depart for 10,000 Islands National Wildlife Preserve. The name is misleading as there are only a few hundred of these island and mangrove islets but assuredly exceptional. Parts of this 35,000 acre refuge were occupied by Native Americans for thousands of years and today it protects important habitats and a rich diversity of native wildlife, including several endangered species. We will have a narrated cruise to watch for birds, manatees, and other wildlife along the water's edge.

Dinner: Dinner is Naples at a local restaurant near the hotel.

Evening: Charles Sobczak -- author of "Living the Gulf Coast" -- will provide an introduction to Southwest Florida and the Everglades. You will receive a copy of his book, and over the course of the program we will visit many of the places mentioned.

Lodging: Holiday Inn Express - Naples

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Type: Hotel

Description: This newly renovated Naples hotel is conveniently located steps from the famous 5th Avenue downtown Naples in the heart of the entertainment and shopping district, world class restaurants and night life. This hotel is ideally located, just one mile from Naples Pier, pristine white sand beaches, Naples Zoo at Caribbean Gardens as well as Naples Philharmonic and just a block from the historic Tin City Marketplace.

Contact info:
1785 Fifth Avenue South
Naples
Florida, FL 34102 USA
phone: 239-261-3500
web: www.ihg.com/holidayinnexpress/hotels/us/en/naples/apfin/hoteldetail/hotel-room-rates

Room amenities: Room Amenities: -32” HD LCD -Free Wireless Internet -Ipod / Iphone Docking Station -Refrigerator -Microwave -Hairdryer -Coffee Maker -Mini RefrigeratorTea Maker -Individually Controlled Air Conditioning -Iron / Ironing Board

Facility amenities: - 24 hour state-of-the art fitness center features extensive range of PRECOR equipment - Outdoor Pool - Business Center - Complimentary Parking

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Additional nights before: TBD


Check in time: 3:00 PM


Day Three: Tuesday, March 10 - Naples Depot Musem, Conservancy of Southwest Flor...
Breakfast: Enjoy a selection of hot and cold items including fresh fruit, coffee and tea.

Morning: Board the motor coach for the Conservancy of Southwest Florida. Its mission is to protect the area's unique natural environment. You will have the opportunity to walk through the exhibits in the new discovery center, see the animal hospital, or stroll along their marshwalk.

Lunch: Lunch in Downtown Naples

Afternoon: After lunch we will visit the historic Naples Pier and the Naples Depot. Set in Naples' restored Seaboard Air Line Railway passenger station, the Naples Depot Museum welcomes visitors back to the railroading boom days of the Roaring Twenties and explains how generations of Southwest Floridians used technology and transportation to conquer a vast and seemingly impenetrable frontier. Enjoy Free time around 3pm today.

Dinner: Dinner is on your own in Naples. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions.

Evening: At leisure.

Lodging: Holiday Inn Express - Naples

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch
Type: Hotel

Description: This newly renovated Naples hotel is conveniently located steps from the famous 5th Avenue downtown Naples in the heart of the entertainment and shopping district, world class restaurants and night life. This hotel is ideally located, just one mile from Naples Pier, pristine white sand beaches, Naples Zoo at Caribbean Gardens as well as Naples Philharmonic and just a block from the historic Tin City Marketplace.

Contact info:
1785 Fifth Avenue South
Naples
Florida, FL 34102 USA
phone: 239-261-3500
web: www.ihg.com/holidayinnexpress/hotels/us/en/naples/apfin/hoteldetail/hotel-room-rates

Room amenities: Room Amenities: -32” HD LCD -Free Wireless Internet -Ipod / Iphone Docking Station -Refrigerator -Microwave -Hairdryer -Coffee Maker -Mini RefrigeratorTea Maker -Individually Controlled Air Conditioning -Iron / Ironing Board

Facility amenities: - 24 hour state-of-the art fitness center features extensive range of PRECOR equipment - Outdoor Pool - Business Center - Complimentary Parking

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Additional nights before: TBD


Check in time: 3:00 PM


Day Four: Wednesday, March 11 - Expert Naturalist Introduction to the Everglades,...
Expert Naturalist Introduction to the Everglades, Lunch at Seafood Depot, Shark Valley Field Trip with Tram Ride

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: John Owens, a naturalist, will introduce you to the fascinating Everglades and to some of the "critters" living in the area. He will also discuss the diverse terrestrial, freshwater, marine, and coastal ecosystems of the Everglades.



Lunch: For lunch in Everglades City, choose from a select menu of sandwiches, salads, and seafood bar at a popular restaurant.

Afternoon: John Owens will continue his talk on the motor coach en route to Shark Valley, at the heart of the Everglades. When we hop aboard the Shark Valley tram, park naturalists will point out any wildlife in motion. In addition to providing insights into the ecosystem as a whole, these guides will also point out some of the "hidden" aspects of this world-renowned wetland. The open vehicle will allow you to view wildlife within the sawgrass prairies on either side of the tram. At the half-way point , a 45-foot-high observation deck offers an opportunity to observe the tranquil vistas of the Everglades, extending 20 miles in all directions. A ramp with gradual include provides access to the observation tower deck, and every part of the ramp and deck provide chances to view something different.

Dinner: Dinner in at a popular restaurant in Everglades City offers a 3-course meal of appetizer, entrée, and dessert.

Evening: At leisure.

Lodging: Holiday Inn Express - Naples

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Type: Hotel

Description: This newly renovated Naples hotel is conveniently located steps from the famous 5th Avenue downtown Naples in the heart of the entertainment and shopping district, world class restaurants and night life. This hotel is ideally located, just one mile from Naples Pier, pristine white sand beaches, Naples Zoo at Caribbean Gardens as well as Naples Philharmonic and just a block from the historic Tin City Marketplace.

Contact info:
1785 Fifth Avenue South
Naples
Florida, FL 34102 USA
phone: 239-261-3500
web: www.ihg.com/holidayinnexpress/hotels/us/en/naples/apfin/hoteldetail/hotel-room-rates

Room amenities: Room Amenities: -32” HD LCD -Free Wireless Internet -Ipod / Iphone Docking Station -Refrigerator -Microwave -Hairdryer -Coffee Maker -Mini RefrigeratorTea Maker -Individually Controlled Air Conditioning -Iron / Ironing Board

Facility amenities: - 24 hour state-of-the art fitness center features extensive range of PRECOR equipment - Outdoor Pool - Business Center - Complimentary Parking

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Additional nights before: TBD


Check in time: 3:00 PM


Day Five: Thursday, March 12 - Rookery Bay Reserve and Collier County Museum
Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: Board the motor coach for Rookery Bay Reserve. Visit the Coastal Ecosystem Learning Center, which offers a variety of hands-on experiences, including 2,300-gallon aquarium and interactive exhibits addressing research and stewardship efforts ongoing within the Reserve. Join a Rookery Bay naturalist on a walking tour of the grounds and learn more about the plants and animals that inhabit this beautiful coastal environment, the issues they face for survival, and how every species contributes to the vitality of this ecosystem.

Lunch: Enjoy a box lunch at the Reserve.

Afternoon: Afterwards, we will visit the Collier County Museum in Naples, one of five related facilities that trace the pre-history, natural and human history and culture of southwest Florida over more than a million years. Nestled on five acres of native Florida landscaping, the flagship museum at the county government center offers newly created exhibits and galleries. We will have a guided introduction and presentation on one of many subjects covered in the museum such as the prehistoric saber-tooth cat, Calusa Indians to Spanish explorers, or Seminole warriors.

Dinner: Enjoy a farewell dinner with good company and good food.

Evening: At leisure.

Lodging: Holiday Inn Express - Naples

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day Six: Friday, March 13 - Wrap-up Session, Program Concludes
Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: A wrap-up presentation providers further perspectives on Southwest Florida’s human and natural history.

The program concludes with this presentation.

We hope you have enjoyed this Road Scholar learning adventure and look forward to having you on other programs in the future. Please stay in touch and share your memories, pictures, and comments via the Road Scholar Social Network. Best wishes for all your journeys! Best wishes for all your journeys!

Meals Included: Breakfast



Free Time Opportunities


Naples, FL
Clyde Butcher Art Gallery / Big Cypress GalleryBreathtaking Black and White photos of Southwest Florida. Enjoy this amazing collection of photographs, books, nature trails and tours that can only be brought to you by Clyde Butcher. Check out the annual Swamp Walk, where Clyde will take you out to the heart of the Everglades and share his photography skills and the beauty that inspires him. 239-695-2428. 52388 Tamiami Trail • Ochopee, FL 34141
For additional information, visit: www.clydebutcher.com
Historic Smallwood Store & MuseumExperience the unique history of the 10,000 Islands in the Ole Indian Trading Post and Museum. 239-695-2989 360 Mamie Street • Chokoloskee, FL 33925

Important information about your itinerary:
Please know that while we do everything we can to finalize all aspects of our programs well in advance, there are logistics that occasionally must be altered. Our website will reflect the most recent information, and we are committed to providing you with final program details no later than eight weeks prior to the start of programs outside the U.S. and three weeks prior to the start of programs within the U.S. If you ever have questions about your program, please don't hesitate to contact us and we will be happy to assist you.

Our Value Promise To You

You won't find a better value.

Included
at no additional cost on this date ...
5 nights of accommodations
13 meals: 5 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 4 dinners
5 Expert-led lectures
9 Field trips

Ratings

4.6
Ratings are determined by participant evaluations.

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